For the longest time, the outcomes of a 2014 research revealed within the Journal of the American Medical Affiliation confirmed a compelling correlation with opioid deaths in states with medical marijuana.

In keeping with the research, medical marijuana states skilled roughly 20% much less opioid-related deaths than states who banned cannabis use. This quickly grew to become a key speaking level for marijuana advocates, together with right here at WeedAdvisor.

However now, Vox discusses a brand new research with a really totally different conclusion. Now, fairly than a 20% lower in opioid deaths, states with medical marijuana registered a 20% improve. The research didn’t deviate from its predecessor when it comes to methodology, so it left many individuals scratching their heads.

Bleak because it appears, nonetheless, this doesn’t imply that marijuana really results in opioid use. The problem will not be that the correlation has modified, however fairly that there was no correlation within the first place.


Widespread Hype


When the unique research was revealed in 2014, it represented a glimmer of hope for states scuffling with the opioid epidemic. It additionally didn’t damage that this revelation considerably bolstered the argument for authorized marijuana. Finally, this led to fast motion.

In keeping with Vox:


“Earlier research, notably a broadly cited 2014 research, discovered a correlation on the state stage between the legalization of medical cannabis and fewer overdose deaths. That line of analysis indicated that medical marijuana could result in a discount in overdoses, underneath the speculation that folks might use cannabis to deal with ache fairly than opioids. Some state lawmakers embraced the research, citing them to legalize medical pot or permit medical marijuana to assist deal with opioid dependancy.”


With guarantees like these and the state of affairs rising more and more determined, it’s no shock that legislators and the general public each pounced on this golden ticket.


A Broader Image


One limitation was that the 2014 research solely lined opioid deaths from 1999 to 2010. However the latest one was capable of collect knowledge up till 2017, offering radically totally different outcomes:


“The brand new research, revealed in PNAS, discovered that medical marijuana was correlated with fewer opioid overdose deaths from 1999 to 2010. However utilizing newer knowledge as much as 2017, the research discovered that states with medical marijuana legal guidelines really noticed extra opioid overdose deaths.”


At this level, anti- cannabis advocates may see this as their very own present. What higher information than a research exhibiting a optimistic correlation between opioid overdoses and cannabis?


However that is additionally merely not true.


No Correlation


These new revelations could also be disappointing to legislators, the medical neighborhood and legalization proponents. Nevertheless, that is merely one other case of “correlation doesn’t equal causation” rearing its head in in any other case sound analysis.

Within the 2017 research, the authors basically dismissed the concept of there being a hyperlink within the first place. In keeping with Vox:


“The researchers argue that the correlation is spurious — suggesting that there’s no broad, generalizable connection between medical marijuana and opioid overdose deaths, and the beforehand discovered hyperlink was possible a coincidence.”


Chelsey Leigh Shover, the research’s lead creator, says:


“We, the authors, suppose it’s a mistake to take a look at that and say, ‘Oh, cannabis was saving individuals 10 years in the past and it’s killing individuals now. We predict a extra possible interpretation is that passing medical cannabis legal guidelines simply will not be affecting opioid deaths on the inhabitants stage.”


In a means, it’s good that researchers found this drawback. Each the general public and lawmakers put quite a lot of religion into medical marijuana’s potential to stop or deal with opioid dependancy. Now that the hyperlink has been successfully busted, we are able to deal with different options.


WeedAdvisor’s Curiosity in Marijuana Analysis


Regardless of the information being lower than stellar, research like these are the rationale WeedAdvisor helps ongoing cannabis analysis. We would like specialists to disclose new and thrilling advantages, however it’s equally necessary that misinformation about cannabis be uncovered and corrected.

Because of the dedication of some researchers, we now have a greater perceive on what marijuana does and doesn’t convey to the desk.

Though we’re disenchanted {that a} speaking level we used is now successfully null and void, our deal with schooling compels us to supply an accurate narrative.